Event Proposal Guide

Proposing an event? Once you have read the information below, sign up for a 20-minute consultation with Gail and Melissa to discuss your event.
If you have any questions please email Abigail De Kosnik at adekosnik@berkeley.edu.

EVENT PROPOSALS FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2016–17

The primary deadline for event proposals for the 2016-17 academic year is April 1, 2016.
Although the first round of proposals receives top priority in terms of allocations of support, we do accept later proposals on a rolling basis.

CONTENTS

1. Introduction to the TDPS Events Committee
2. TDPS Event Categories
3. Who Can Propose an Event
4. How to Propose an Event
5. The Event Planning Process
6. Selection Criteria: How the Events Committee Decides Which Events Proposals to Approve/Fund
7. Help! I Have Questions
8. Additional Resources for Coordinators

INTRODUCTION TO THE TDPS EVENTS COMMITTEE

The TDPS Events Committee oversees the processes for proposing, planning, and producing events in the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. The Events Committee’s activities include:

  • Helping members of TDPS propose public events,
  • Reading and vetting event proposals,
  • Allocating funding, space, and other resources to approved proposals,
  • Helping event organizers run successful events,
  • Facilitating feedback after events so that both TDPS and individual organizers can learn from each event.

TDPS does not have unlimited space, staff, funding, technology, or time. Event Organizers (the people who propose, plan, and produce events in TDPS) also do not have unlimited time or energy. The Events Committee manages the resources of the department so that our department puts on a series of high-quality, intellectually and artistically enriching, and lively events each year, within the limits of our budget, personnel, and facilities. Therefore, not every event proposal will be approved every year, and not every approved proposal will receive all of the resources from TDPS that it requests.

The Events Committee includes representatives of the TDPS senate faculty, lecturers, staff, and graduate students. If you have questions for the Events Committee, please contact the current Events Committee Chair, Prof. Gail De Kosnik (adekosnik@berkeley.edu), and/or TDPS Director of Communications Melissa Schultz (mschultz@berkeley.edu).

TDPS EVENT CATEGORIES

An “event” in TDPS is typically a lecture, demonstration, or symposium that is free and open to the campus and public. The Events Committee will give events a designation of Standard or Complex in order to facilitate expectations and planning.

  • Standard Events. A “Standard Event” in TDPS has the following structure:
    • One or two visiting speakers or artists coming to campus,
    • Giving a lecture or demonstration, with a Q & A (question-and answer session with the audience),
    • Lasting approximately 2 hours,
    • In a free campus space,
    • Requiring only a podium, microphone, digital projector, and chairs.
    • The speaker must have a U.S. social security number (so that they can be paid an honorarium), and
    • The speaker must not require a visa to travel to the U.S.

The proposal and planning process for Standard Events is usually straightforward.

  • Complex Events. A “Complex event” in TDPS is an event that has one or more of the following components or characteristics:
    • More than one or two speakers, or a renowned (“star”) speaker who has extensive support needs.
    • A speaker who does not have a U.S. Social Security number and/or requires a visa.
    • Scheduled to last longer than a few hours (i.e., is an all-day or multi-day event).
    • Is a “symposium” or “conference” (rather than a 1-2 person lecture or demo).
    • Requires special spaces or multiple spaces, special lighting or A/V equipment (more than a digital projector), stage management, and/or intensive staff support.
    • Includes a performance that is more elaborate than a simple demo.
    • Requires ticketing or crowd crontrol.

Complex events usually require more planning time, greater fundraising efforts, and more frequent communication with staff and faculty than Standard Events.

  • Recurring Events. There are two major types of events that recur every year in TDPS, both organized by graduate students:
    • The New Play Reading Series. Each year, a few Performance Studies graduate students volunteer to be the organizers of that year’s New Play Reading Series, in which new plays are given staged readings by undergraduate actors. Read more info here.
    • The Annual Performance Studies Graduate Speaker Series. Each year, one or two Performance Studies graduate students volunteer to select and invite one or two prominent scholars in Performance Studies to give a lecture at Berkeley.

WHO CAN PROPOSE AN EVENT

Any member of TDPS – senate faculty, lecturers, staff, graduate student, or undergraduate major/minor – can propose an event.

 A graduate student who proposes an event must have the approval of the Head Graduate Advisor (and, if the student is ABD, their dissertation chair as well) before they submit their proposal. The HGA (and dissertation chair, if applicable) must agree that the graduate student has the time to organize an event, and that the event will not negatively impact the student’s progress towards degree completion. Some graduate students may choose to propose events in order to supplement their research, broaden their professional network, or contribute to their professional development, but event organization is not a requirement of the Ph.D. program.

An undergraduate student who proposes an event must have a faculty member willing to sign on as their official advisor for the event. The faculty advisor will be responsible for overseeing the undergraduate student as they plan and produce the event.

HOW TO PROPOSE AN EVENT

  • Conceive of the event. Take a look at the Event Proposal Form to get a sense of what we’ll ask about, then (before you fill out the Proposal Form) decide the following:
    • Why do you want to organize the event, and what you hope the event contributes to the department, the campus, and the community (see “Selection Criteria” section below)? Be sure to write text for your Proposal that makes a clear case for why your event should be supported by the department.
    • Whom will you invite to lecture or demonstrate, for what type of event?
    • Who will help you plan the event?
      • The role of Event Organizer comes with many responsibilities, and you may benefit from having co-Organizers, or volunteers who can help you on the day of the event.
      • Keep in mind that on the day of an event, there may be many small details that you, as the Event Organizer, cannot personally attend to. When deciding how many co-Organizers or volunteers you will need for your event, think about the following questions:
        • Who will receive the food from the caterers, if you are having food delivered?
        • Who will set up the room (put away tables, put out chairs, etc.) before the event, and who will clean up and re-set the room after the event?
        • Who will manage the audience?
        • Who will take care of getting the speaker/artist’s A/V set up and make sure that it works before the event begins?
        • Who will pick up the speaker from their hotel, or meet them on campus, and walk them to the event? Who will walk the speaker back to their hotel or car?
    • Where and when the event will take place.
      • Before filling out an Event Proposal Form, contact the TDPS Production Office (TDPSspace@berkeley.edu) to ask if the space you want is available at the date and time that you want it, and if it is, ask them to please put a temporary hold on that space for you
      • Also ask the Production Office what other TDPS productions and events are scheduled to take place around the same time as your event, to determine whether your event will compete against too many other events for audience
    • If you need TDPS to be the “fiscal home” of your event.
      • The “fiscal home” of an event is the department or campus unit that manages all financial transactions that take place associated with the event (i.e. authorization of travel for visitors, payment of speakers’/artists’ honoraria, reimbursements).
      • Because TDPS’s financial manager, Grace Leach, must dedicate many hours of time to each event for which TDPS is the fiscal home, the Events Comm must be judicious in deciding the number of events for which TDPS can be the fiscal home each year. In some cases, the Events Comm may approve an event proposal, but deny a request that TDPS be the fiscal home for that event. In this case, you or a co-Organizer should ask another department or campus unit to be the fiscal home. Every campus event needs to have a fiscal home.
      • If you are requesting that TDPS act as the fiscal home of your event, make sure to check the appropriate box on your Proposal Form.
    • Who will attend your event?
      • Which TDPS constituents are likely to be interested in the event? (e.g., undergraduates interested in dance? Graduate students working on questions of transnationalism?)
      • Which other Berkeley departments or campus units would you like to attract?
      • Will this be a small event designed to provide audience members with a high degree of interactivity with the visitor?
    • What will your budget be?
      • Please make sure to include the following categories in your budget:
        • Honorarium
        • Travel
        • Hotel
        • Any event-related meals
        • Per-diem (if you bring in a visitor for more than one day)
        • Space rental fees (if you are booking a non-TDPS facility).
  • If you are a TDPS undergraduate student, make sure you have a faculty advisor signed on before you fill out a Proposal Form.
  • If you are a TDPS graduate student, make sure that you have sent a draft of your proposal to the current HGA (and to your dissertation chair, if you are ABD), and that they have agreed that you should move forward with submitting that proposal and that the event planning process will not negatively impact your progress toward your degree, before you fill out a Proposal Form. On the Proposal Form, you must indicate that you have received approval from the HGA (and dissertation chair, if applicable).
  • The Events Committee will let you know whether your proposal is approved. The Events Comm may have questions for you, or ask to meet with you, about your proposal while deciding whether to approve it.

THE EVENT PLANNING PROCESS

  • Once your proposal is approved, you must attend the scheduled Events Orientation meeting with Gail and Melissa, at which you will receive a checklist and contract for your event planning process, as well as access to a shared Google Drive folder of resources. If you absolutely cannot attend the scheduled orientation meeting, contact Gail and Melissa to discuss alternative arrangements for receiving your checklist and contract. If you have prior experience as an Event Organizer, this information may be conveyed to you in email rather than in a meeting.
  • Follow the steps of the checklist that Melissa gives you, and utilize the resources provided. There is important material in these resources regarding:
    • Speaker contact
    • Arranging travel logistics
    • Reserving space or confirming your temporary hold on a TDPS space
    • Communicating with staff
    • Managing your funds (including information about chartstrings, speaker honoraria, and getting reimbursed)
    • Marketing/Publicity
    • Campus permits
  • Meet with, and email, Melissa and other staff members according to the schedule outlined in your Event contract and schedule.
  • After your event, the Events Committee will ask the staff who worked with you on the event to complete an Event Evaluation form for the event and your organization of it. The Evaluations will be given to you either via email or in a face-to-face debrief meeting.

SELECTION CRITERIA: HOW THE EVENTS COMMITTEE DECIDES WHICH EVENT PROPOSALS TO APPROVE/FUND

The Events Committee considers several departmental goals when reviewing event proposals. Projects may meet a range of goals and objectives, and it’s rare that a project would meet all of the following. We hope that our public programming, in its totality, will hit a range of these objectives. Your proposal should address how your project addresses at least some of the following:

  • Curricular and departmental integration: How does this project integrate with our curriculum? Does it augment and/or complement and/or expand what we offer? In what ways? Does this project build intellectual community among and between undergrads, grads and/or faculty?
  • Fulfilling our mission: Which aspects of the TDPS departmental mission and/or University/College of Letters and Science mission does this project address? (Examples: help build convergences between practice and scholarship; represent new research paradigms or agendas; promote liberal arts goals such as helping students find and follow their passion, have knowledge that is both broad and deep, and/or develop a wider skill set or networks for future careers; represent performance as a mode of critical inquiry, a means of a creative expression, and a vehicle for public engagement; serve university-wide priorities and initiatives, such as the Strategic Plan for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, etc.)

The Mission of TDPS: The Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies teaches performance as a mode of critical inquiry, creative expression and public engagement. Through performance training and research, we create liberal arts graduates with expanded analytical, technical and imaginative capacities. As a public institution, we make diversity and inclusion a key part of our teaching, art making and public programming. 

  • Connections: Does this project help facilitate TDPS connections with other Berkeley departments and/or organizations off campus? What is the nature of the collaboration? What form does it take? Does this project represent outreach with local organizations that will increase awareness of TDPS as a department that is interested in/committed to engaging with a diverse population?
  • Leadership: Is this project one that is proactive for TDPS, i.e one that is advancing the department’s current projects and priorities? Is your event an example of “leading with vision”?
  • Impact: Who is the target audience for this event? Which constituencies are most likely benefit from this event, and how will their involvement be solicited? Is this project likely to enhance the visibility of TDPS, and if so, how? Can this event be part of recruiting more folks (students, faculty, the public) into the TDPS fold? If so, how?
  • Events committee leadership/support: From a curatorial point of view, what are ways that the Events Comm can foster and support this initiative beyond operational aspects (e.g., space, funding, staff time, etc)? If the Events Comm decides to sponsor this event, how can we help the project realize its full potential from a curatorial point of view—e.g., helping the presenter knit the project into the life of our classes, productions, or other projects, etc.?  How can we help the project get more buy-in, make more connections?

HELP! I HAVE QUESTIONS

If you have questions about proposing an event, please email Abigail De Kosnik at adekosnik@berkeley.edu.
If you are an Event Coordinator and have logistical questions about an approved event, please email Melissa Schultz at mschultz@berkeley.edu.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR COORDINATORS